paying for other people's fame

macbirchApril 7, 2007

I decided to start my search for a glass water jug in KMart, a local budget department store. Only one type of jug, made in China, label identified it as part of the Collection of some tv personality, and the price seemed a little high though I wasn't sure as I am not in the habit of buying water jugs. So I decided to go to the more expensive stores and see what they had. I found a nice jug made in Italy for half the price in a kitchenware shop.

Really annoyed me. How much I'm willing to pay depends on the item. If it's an item I want to buy at KMart or a similar store I expect it to be cheaper than from an upmarket department store or a speciality store. I certainly don't want to pay more because it's part of Nellie Nobody's Homewares Collection.

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I'm with you macbirch, if it has some famous persons name on it I won't buy it. I also go to the Kmart's and WalMarts to get inexpensive items, but it seems like they all want to be the show place for some famous person now, to get inexpensive, yet practical you almost have to go to the Dollar stores now.
We have 3 different ones here in town, one is really nice stuff, one is ok, and one is usually a bunch of junk.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 10:29AM
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I really dislike buying anything with "Ms. Camp Cupcake"'s name on it. The K store had gotten to be halfway decent around here until her garbage came in and bumped out everything reasonably priced. Might as well call it MarthaMart and let it go under completely as far as I'm concerned.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 9:19PM
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Then the celebrity gets on TV (or were they there first?), get to be paid big bucks, and get their pictures in the tabloid magazines, that they we sucker consumers are fools enough to buy!

I'm not too interested in having any of my hard-earned dollars go to add to the annual millions that they pull in!

But - I believe that Martha Stewpot got a raw deal in the stock market scandal which she went to jail over, while the much larger scoundrels that did investors, employees and others out of millions ... most of them got a slap on the wrist, if that.

That really stinks.

And it seems to me that we investors should attend the annual meetings of the companies in which we hold shares to object to the huge amounts of compensation that the corporate bosses get paid ... with substantial performance bonuses, even though the company didn't have much success that year.

And we in Canada ride much less strict herd on our investment crowd than they do in the States. The Old Boy network is alive and well!

Have a lovely Easter, everyone (to whom that event is important).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 5:13AM
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Deborah Hutton! I wouldn't have remembered but she hosted an Easter entertaining special the other day. Turns out there's a website for her homewares - "led me to create ... at a price that made sense".

Don't get me started on what corporate bosses get paid. What could they possibly do with all that money. Okay, I guess some share their good fortune around, being generous to their employees and to charity. But I wonder if some just get on a mindless treadmill of more, more, more?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 7:35AM
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Yes, don't automatically assume that if you are buying a certain product at a discount "big box" store it is going to be the cheapest price. I have found numerous times you have to watch what you buy. It may be inexpensive, but it is also cheap and if it falls apart in 2 months and you have to replace it, how much money did you actually save?
You should have bought it at the more expensive store in the first place. This has happened to me numerous times.
OR - the price on some stuff is WAY cheaper than elsewhere but they jack up the pricing on all the other little stuff so it is more expensive than other stores.
You have to be selective that's for sure.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:57AM
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I find that housewares at K-Martha are extremely over priced, and very, very low quality. My husband buys me something from 'her' line every now and then as a joke--because he knows both that I cannot stand the woman (she's not what she pretends to be, never has been) and because I like high quality kitchenware.

Take 'her' cast irong pans for example. They're half the weight and thickness of Lodge cast iron--yet cost just as much.

As far as her stock escapade? I have NO sympathy for her--she WAS a stockbroker herself. She knows the rules better than most of us--but chose to disregard them. I strongly believe that when someone has specialized knowledge in a certain field, it's right to hold them to a higher standard. Just one person's opinion, though.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 2:28PM
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I dont think there is a difference between buying someones name or a logo. There are a few names or logo i still trust but for the most part we have gotten carried away with making other people rich. A great example are the clothes many people wear. The purse is covered in "C' for coach, the sweater reads "POLO", the jeans read "TOMMY HILFIGAR",and the shoes are Nike. We have turned into walking billboards. Personally i think people look silly dressed in so many logos. But that is just my opinion.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 4:31PM
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I agree about walking billboards.

DH used to wear Penguin shirts, not because he wanted to parade around with the (small) logo on his chest but because he found them comfortable and reliable so he stuck with them. They disappeared for a while and about a year ago I noticed them in a shop that's, well, cheaper than KMart but more expensive than a dollar store (is that the term?). So they're very cheap now, made offshore, and apparently not by the original manufacturer. They don't look like the good reliable shirts he used to buy and he's not going to try one just because of the logo. It's not the same thing.

That's another of my pet hates. When a brand changes ownership and the new owners think they can mess with the product but people will still buy it because of the logo.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 10:01AM
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I bought an expensive baking pan with the name of a well-known Aussie cook on it many years ago, niavely thinking it was good because of the name. First time I used it I noticed that the handles on the side hung down further than the base, meaning it wouldn't sit properly unless the handles were in a specific position. The stainless steel was thin, I've since bought a cheaper one complete with lid that has thicker metal. Cost me a whole $10.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 9:51AM
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You would hope that if it was an actual chef, and not just a lifestyle show host with no particular qualifications, that they would have had some intelligent input into the design of the product they are putting their name to. I wonder what they use at home?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 8:54AM
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I have to say, I find Rachel Ray completely obnoxious. Her name and face are everywhere. I bought a box of crackers a few weeks ago, brought the box home, turned it around, and there she was!

And yes, I can't stand it when people wear shirts with the name of the brand right on the front. I don't mind name-brand clothing so much. I sometimes buy it used and I do wear it when the brand name is just on the tag, not anywhere else.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 12:52PM
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Used to be brand names meant something. You might buy something because the name means quality, sturdiness, reliability, good value or whatever. Now they often scream louder but mean less.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 4:29AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Hmmm, for the past half dozen years or so, I 've finally enjoyed Kmart. I think the MS line is great for the price. ....But more so, they are in style! I know that is an unpopular thought on this forum, but I like stylish, trendy things. I bought a MS patio set last year and love it. I paid $600 for it and still can't find anthing under $2000 that compares to it. I could say the same about many of the products.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 6:50PM
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I feel the same about the Martha line. I think the baking line she has is as good quality as William Sonoma. Another great thing i think Kmart has is kids clothes. Yes, i said that right. People always ask me where i get the cute clothes. They are always shocked when i say Kmart. The infant and toddler section has the most adorable stuff. The older kids clothes has some great stuff and some not so great.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 12:24PM
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I used to shop at K-Mart for the kids clothes. They were cuter than the other lines of clothes out there and at a good price. I havent lived near a K-Mart for a few years.

I try to avoid name brand clothes for my kids unless they are quality or look nice. So many clothes today are trashy because that is the fashion. I want my kids to look clean cut without a lot of logos or rips or whatever the trend is. If my kids felt out of place because of their clothes, I would reconsider.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 7:33PM
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Some of those trashy looking clothes are ridiculously expensive, depending on which store. You actually pay for the privilege of wearing something with holes that looks like you leaned against wet paint. I don't get it.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 4:47AM
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When my kids were younger "all their friends had Jordan sneakers, and logo jeans, etc". That's when I went against every childrearing book out there. I sat them down, explained how we got the money (not how much we earned - that's nobodies business)and where the money had to go (bills). I then started taking them (1 at a time) shopping with me every week. I taught them how to comparison shop for everything. I sewed their tiny initials in the corner of a pocket. And then finally, if they pushed, I just flat out stated "I am not paying $100 for a pair of sneakers you will out-grow in 1 -2 years just so Mike Jordan can light up another cigar."
Walk around any grocery store or mall and you can spot the college kids away from home with no concept how to budget/spend their money.
My kids are now 17, 18, 21 & 23, and they love to tell me "how stupid was so & so, he paid $$$ for that, when he could have gotten this for less." Both eldest boys own their own cars, paid cash, (yes used - cuz they were built to last). And they're getting ready to purchase a house together. I guess I did ok with the lessons.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 1:07PM
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